April 3, 2023

Book Review: My Best Friend's Exorcism

I bought this book because the cover reminded me of Post-High School Reality Quest by Meg Eden—which I loved—so I had to give this book a go. Let me cut to the chase: I’m not a big fan of horror. That said, I loved this book. In high school, a bunch of friends in my church youth group and I would get together to watch all those terrible paranormal movies with people getting possessed, visions of hell, and gratuitous gore for the sake of gore. This book had all of those features and more. However, I am happy to say that as an adult, I had the foresight not to read this book immediately before bed, thus sparing myself from nightmares.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism follows Abby and Gretchen. The two became best friends in fourth grade and have been inseparable ever since. During the summer before tenth grade, they go to a sleepover where something happens, and Gretchen spends the night lost in the forest. After that, something changed with the teen. She can’t sleep, refuses to shower or even change her clothes, doesn’t eat, and acts mean to her friends. As Gretchen’s behavior escalates, Abby realizes that something is very very wrong with her friend. Gretchen is no longer Gretchen, and Abby will do anything to get her old friend back.

When Abby turns to the adults in her life for help, they dismiss her. All the parents’ and teachers’ we’re older than you and know better than you attitudes were infuriating and annoyingly believable. Eventually, a group of Christian bodybuilders do an assembly at their school (I’m pretty sure I saw this exact assembly at my youth group in middle school), and one of the bodybuilders agrees to help Abby, but disastrous consequences ensue.

Like a cheesy horror flick, this book describes some absolutely disgusting moments described in delightfully vivid detail. They really elevated this book from just great to a horror masterpiece. That said, if you can’t handle gross moments, this book might not be for you.

Even though the story is packed with nostalgic details from the 1980s, teen horror fans will absolutely love this book. Those of us who watched 80s and 90s horror movies will love it even more.

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